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Tipsheet

NBC Claims 'Support for Abortion Rights Hits New High,' But Did It Really? And Do Voters Care?

AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

NBC News highlighted results from their poll on Sunday, declaring that "Support for abortion rights hits new high." Such a proclamation is based on respondents' support for keeping Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on-demand in all 50 states. As I have explained previously, though, there's more here than meets the eye.  

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By 63-30 percent, adults say they do not want to see Roe overturned. However, it's worth noting that the poll's question is misleading. 

"The Supreme Court's nineteen seventy-three (1973) Roe versus Wade decision established a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy," it reads. 

The poll fails to mention that the companion case of Doe v. Bolton legalized abortion on demand for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy due to a loosely-defined "health" exemption. 

Doe's own opinion acknowledges that the exemption could be whatever a woman and the abortion provider want it to mean: 

...the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors --physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age -- relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment. And it is room that operates for the benefit, not the disadvantage, of the pregnant woman.

Further, respondents are often confused as to what overturning Roe means, which is that it will return the abortion decision back to the states. Justice Samuel Alito's leaked draft opinion affirms that this is what the U.S. Supreme Court is looking to do. 

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As Scott W. Rasmussen, the president of RMG Research, Inc., and Dr. Michael New, a research associate at the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, have pointed out, though, respondents worry overturning Roe means abortion will be banned nationwide. 

Asked another way, however, as RMG Research polling has done, respondents are more likely to support what overturning Roe accomplishes, which is returning the abortion decision back to the states instead of keeping it in the hands of unelected judges. This is consistent with other poll results as well. 

Townhall was provided a copy of the results, which are referenced in reporting from over the weekend. 

As an op-ed from Rasmussen for The Federalist and from Marc Thiessen of The Washington Post highlight, obsessing and a pro-abortion message may actually hurt the Democrats. 

Not only are the results not entirely reflective of how respondents truly feel about the abortion issue and overturning Roe, but the NBC News headline emphasizes the "midterm outlook is grim for Democrats."

The NBC News write-up mentions: 

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But the poll also found that this Supreme Court draft opinion hasn’t substantially altered the overall political environment heading into November’s elections — with inflation and the economy remaining the public’s top issues, President Joe Biden’s job rating falling below 40 percent and a whopping 75 percent of Americans saying the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The poll has far worse signs for the Biden administration and Democrats, as Leah highlighted in her write-up earlier on Monday. 

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